The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough starter smell

  • Pin It
richawatt's picture
richawatt

Sourdough starter smell

I posted about my starter smelling really bad about two weeks ago, I got a lot of responces and thank you.  I started another starter about a week and a half ago and it smells nothing like the last one.  My question is though, how should it smell? is it a dough like smell or does the alcohol take center stage? if you put your nose right in the container will it push you back a bit?

Marni's picture
Marni

At first mine did seem to smell a bit alcohol-y, but a healthy, active starter should smell yeasty and even fruity or sweetish.  I think starter smells can vary depending on what's in them and how they're kept. I've only had a starter for about 3 months, I'm sure you will get more expert advice here soon.

Marni

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

I agree with Marni. Your starter should always have an agreeable fragrance. Ferment at higher temperature and the sourness will dominate, colder and firmer, an apple sweet oder will be experienced. It will occasionally give a hint of hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg smell) but it usually passes in time.  Feed with rye for sour, with spring soft for sweet or with organic unbleached with diastatic malt for a nice middle of the road starter.

I'm glad that you're finally on your way with sourdough. Getting that first starter can be a harrowing doubt filled experience..., Now you can add a little bit of swagger to your gait...,

Wild-Yeast

richawatt's picture
richawatt

Im feeding with gold medal harvest king, do you think that would be ok?

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

As long as the sourdough likes it. Sourdough can be fed nearly any type of flour once the colony is well established and healthy. It's getting it started that the type of flour is important.

Wild-Yeast